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ISRO launches PSLV-C47 carrying Cartosat3 and 13 other US nano-satellites

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday launched PSLV-C47 carrying Cartosat-3 and 13 nanosatellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K. Sivan also remained present during the launch.


-C47 carrying Cartosat-3 and 13 USA nanosatellites lifts off from Sriharikota

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Following the launch, ISRO tweeted, "PSLV-C47 carrying Cartosat-3 and 13 USA nanosatellites lifts off from Sriharikota." According to the space research organisation, the second stage performance of the launch was normal.

Cartosat-3 satellite is a third-generation agile advanced satellite having high-resolution imaging capability. Cartosat-3 satellite will be placed in an orbit of 509 kilometres at an inclination of 97.5 degrees.

(Inputs from Agencies)


Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress to decide portfolio-sharing in 2 days: Balasaheb Thorat

Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat on Wednesday said the sharing of portfolios among the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in the next state government will be finalised in a couple of days.

The 'Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi', comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress along with some small parties and Independents, has decided to stake claim for government formation in the state after the BJP-led government collapsed on Tuesday.


Speaking to reporters after taking oath as member of the 14th state Assembly on Wednesday, Thorat, the Congress Legislature Party leader in the House, said, "The ratio of portfolio-sharing will be finalised in next two days.

The number of Cabinet and Minister of State (MoS) posts to be given to each party will also be finalised in next two days."The NCP has announced that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would be the next chief minister of Maharashtra.

He will be sworn in CM on Thursday evening at Shivaji Park in Dadar, the place where his party holds traditional Dussehra rally each year. Thackeray is currently not a member of any House in the state legislature.

Asked whether Congress president Sonia Gandhi or party leader Rahul Gandhi would attend Thackeray's swearing-in ceremony, Thorat said, "Nothing has been finalised so far on this."

He also said that there will be more clarity on some issues, like speaker of the Assembly, after a couple of days.

Asked about rumours that he may be appointed the deputy chief minister, Thorat said, "I am not aware of any such possibility so far. I can't comment on any such speculation."


I am in NCP, will remain in party: Ajit Pawar

Mumbai: NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who last week supported the BJP to form a short-lived government in Maharashtra, on Wednesday said he continues to be in his party and that there is no reason "to create" confusion about it.

I have nothing to say (right now), I will speak at the right time. I had said earlier also, I am in the NCP and I will remain in the NCP. There is no reason to create confusion," Ajit Pawar told reporters here.


On his late Tuesday night visit to 'Silver Oak', his uncle and NCP president Sharad Pawar's residence, Ajit Pawar said, "It is my right to meet my leader."

The NCP legislator, who won the October 21 state polls from Pune's Baramati seat with a margin of 1.65 lakh votes, shocked his party and family last Saturday after he joined hands with the BJP and became deputy chief minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government.

The NCP subsequently sacked him as its legislature unit leader the same day. However, he continues to be a member of the party.

Ajit Pawar on Tuesday resigned as Dy CM citing "personal reason", following which Fadnavis too stepped down as chief minister, leading to collapse of the BJP-led government.


Some J&K leaders will face prison, I witnessed abuse of democracy: Satya Pal Malik

Goa: Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik has said that he witnessed the abuse of democracy when he was serving as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, adding that some leaders from the newly formed Union Territory will surely go behind the bars for indulging in corrupt practices.

"I have witnessed the abuse of democracy. But the cure is also in democracy. Investigations are underway against them, some of them will go to prison," Malik said while addressing a gathering on the occasion of Constitution Day celebrations at the Goa University grounds here on Tuesday.

He said that democratically elected leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, whose grandparents were school teachers, own houses in Srinagar, Delhi, Dubai, London, and France now.

"When I was appointed as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, I went to see the Prime Minister. I asked him, what my mandate was. He told me to reach out, meet the people, focus on development and fight against corruption," Malik said.

"I went there and it came to my knowledge that the ruling party was trying to divest around Rs 150 crore from government deals, so I cancelled those deals," he added.

Malik, who served as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir from August 2018 to October 2019, said that he also stumbled upon a job scam in a bank and cracked down on it.

"One day, I was sitting at Raj Bhavan in the evening, someone said 15-20 boys and girls had come to see me. They informed me that they had passed the exams and cleared the interviews but others were given appointment letters," he said.

The Governor called the bank, which informed him that the decision was taken under pressure from the government.

"The bank chairman told me that there were 580 candidates who had cleared the exams and interviews. However, the Chief Minister had told the MLAs to recommend their people and they will be hired," Malik said.

He said those in power often misuse them but they can be dealt with. "After all Lalu ji and Om Prakash Chautala went to prison," Malik added.


Decision of Fadnavis' resignation taken during Modi-Shah meeting post-Constitution Day session

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah and party Executive President J.P. Nadda in a meeting on Tuesday decided to ask Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to put his resignation.

The top leaders had to take this decision because they could not arrange the majority to win floor test despite every effort. They thought that under going floor test in a situation when they know they can not prove the majority would be more embarrassment than asking Fadnavis to resign, the sources said.

The Prime Minister was participating in the special session of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on the occasion of the Constitution Day on November 26. In between, the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the Maharashtra issue and ordered to conduct floor test by Wednesday evening.

After attending the special session, Shah and Nadda reached at Modi's room to discuss the ongoing political scenario. The meeting continued for half-an-hour.

According to the sources, when the Prime Minister got to know that Ajit Pawar seems unable to convince the legislators for the floor test, then they decided to save party's prestige through Fadnavis' resignation before the floor test. The step could also do a damage control for the party.

Facing a floor test despite being low in number could be more harmful for the BJP. Moreover, soon after the meeting was over, Ajit Pawar also gave his resignation.

Source said that the party leadership had informed Fadnavis about the decision taken in the meeting thereafter he announced his resignation during a press conference at around 3.30 p.m.


Two mantras of Constitution are 'dignity for Indians' and 'unity for India': PM Modi

Never Forget: The 5 martyrs of 26/11

Eleven years ago, on the dark night of 26/11, Mumbai was faced with one of its worst terror attacks in history. 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists came to Mumbai via sea route from Pakistan and carried out a series of coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across the city. The terrorists took over the city for four days killing 166 people and injuring over 300.

In the face of terror, several brave policemen fought against the notorious terrorists and lost their lives. Chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad Hemant Karkare, Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar, Additional Commissioner Ashok Kamte, Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble were only a few of them who will forever be remembered by the Mumbai.

Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble

Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble was one of those men who ran towards death, knowing there was no way back home.

Omble was serving his night duty on 26th November 2008 at a police station off Chowpatty in south Mumbai, when he was informed that two gunmen were speeding towards Malabar hill in a car. Armed with a baton and a radio, Omble stood in front of the speeding car, determined to take down the terrorists. While the car swerved towards the barricades with its headlights on, Omble rushed towards the car and attempted to grab the first gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab.

Omble lost his life at the hands Kasab. The terrorist fired shots at point-blank with his AK-47 while Omble was trying to nab him.

Hemant Karkare

The chief of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad, Hemant Karkare, arrived on filed late night with a do or die will. He was killed in action during the 26/11 attacks.

Karkare’s daughter told Mint in an interview that for his father, “devotion to his duty came before everything else”.

Karkare had first fired shots at Kasab which caused him to slow down and at the end caught by Omble.

Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar

Encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar was busy keeping the street of Mumbai before Mumbai was attacked.

Salaskar along with Ashok Kamte, Hemant Karkare and a few constables were headed towards Cama hospital in a jeep when Kasab appeared from behind a tree fired several shots at the policemen inside the vehicle.

Salaskar succumbed to his injuries that night.

Additional Commissioner Ashok Kamte

Ashok Kamte was the Additional Commissioner with Mumbai Police for the eastern region, which was not under attack, he still offered assistance and arrived at Cama hospital. He decided to attack from the hospital’s front gate.

He was the first one to notice the terrorist and started firing at them. He was killed by Ismail, one of the terrorist.

Additional Commissioner Sadanand Date

It was one of the rare days when a police officer reaches home early for Sadanand Date. He received a call while at home that informed him about the terror being spewed across the city.

He picked up a 9mm carbine from Malabar police station and was on his way to strike down the terrorists. However, Date was unaware of the ammunition carried by the terrorist and when one of them threw a hand grenade, Date was severely injured and lost his life due to heavy blood loss.


When Ram Gopal Varma and Riteish Deshmukh got panned for 'terror tour' after 26/11 attack

The horrifying 26/11 attacks that shook Mumbai, marks eleven years today. On Bollywood front, many filmmakers have tried to encapsulate the terror that caused havoc in the maximum city.

Going back to 2008, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma received flak for touring Taj and Trident Hotel, which was one of the terror attack sites. While RGV countered by saying he did not go to the Taj and Trident with this intention; that his being inside the hotel was a “mere coincidence”, B-towners condemned his action, which were meant for his tentative movie.

In 2008, 10 Pakistani terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba sneaked into Mumbai and gunned down over 160 people. Over the course of their attack, nine of them were killed while one -- Mohammed Ajmal Kasab -- was arrested and finally executed in November 2012.

Arriving in Mumbai from Karachi, Pakistan, by a fishing trawler, the 10 terrorists unleashed mass destruction at the city's hubs such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Taj Mahal Palace hotel, Cafe Leopold, Cama and Albless Hospital, Nariman House, and Oberoi-Trident Hotel.

News channels have turned the focus on RGV’s visit with former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, his film actor son Ritiesh and, allegedly, with his (Varma’s) assistant director.

According to a report in Hindustan Times, actor Aashish Chaudhary, who lost his sister and brother-in-law in the terror attack at The Trident, said “What was he (Varma) thinking? It is not a tourist site or an exhibition.”

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who started his career with RGV, didn’t shy away from condemning his mentor and said, “No one knows his intention behind taking a tour of Taj. But knowing RGV, one can suspect that he might be interested in making a film on it. If that is so, it’s extremely insensitive of him.”

An insider from filmmaker’s unit said that RGV was glued to the TV screen like millions of Indians during the dramatic 59 hours of the siege, and had discussed making a film.

Actress Simi Garewal said, “Ramu’s act can put the entire film fraternity in question. He should have considered the implications. It is also completely mindless and uncharitable on the CM’s part to take them (RGV and Ritiesh) along.”

Jab We Met director Imtiaz Ali added, “I am not aware of his motives. One should let RGV be. The biggest concern is everyone’s security — that is much more significant than any Ramu paying visit to the Taj.”

Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha also weighed in and said, “Ram Gopal Varma seems to have gone a little too far in his attempt to bring realism to the screen. It’s bizarre and shameful.”

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit, concluded, “He has clearly put us to shame. Filmmakers are often accused of capitalising on human tragedies. Being a part of this industry, I find such accusations extremely demeaning. But what can one do when we have people like RGV who just refuse to improve and show any sort of solidarity.”

In 2013, RGV finally released his film titled as “The Attacks of 26/11”. It was the only film in Bollywood back then that officially traced the incident and its aftermath. Starring Nana Patekar as Mumbai top cop Rakesh Maria -- who handled investigations -- the film had its moments of brilliance.


Maha Twist: Five things you ought to know about BJP's new bestie and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar

For years Ajit 'dada', as he is popularly known, has remained in the shadows of his larger than life uncle Sharad Pawar. But on in a major twist in the tale, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) turned its tables on rivals with a faction of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) breaking away under Sharad Pawar's nephew Ajit Pawar and forming government under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis in the wee hours of Saturday morning. NCP leader Ajit Pawar was sworn-in as the deputy chief minister at Raj Bhavan.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar seems to be equally miffed with his nephew Ajit's decision to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "I came to know at 7 am today about Ajit Pawar. I did not know before that. I will hold a press conference in some time. Uddhav too will address the media. I will speak elaborately then," the NCP chief said, clarifying that it was not his decision.


Here are five facts you need to know about Ajit 'Dada' Pawar:

  • The 60-year old politician has an experience of three-decade in politics. He has served as the deputy chief minister of the state and also the minister of state for key portfolios like water resources, rural soil conservation development, power and planning.

  • Ajit Pawar was pursuing his primary education at Deolali Pravara, his Uncle, Sharad Pawar had become a rising political figure in the ruling Congress party. Therefore, Ajit moved to Mumbai for his further education. Pawar made his foray into politics in 1982 when he was elected to the board of a cooperative sugar factory.

  • He was elected chairman of the Pune District Co-operative Bank (PDC) in 1991 and remained in the post for 16 years. During this period he was also elected as Member of parliament, Lok Sabha from the Baramati. He later vacated his Lok Sabha seat in favour of his uncle, Sharad Pawar, who had then become defence minister in PV Narasimha Rao's government.

  • Thereafter, he was elected as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Baramati. Pawar was re-elected from the same constituency in 1995, 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014.

  • He went on to become minister of state for Agriculture and Power (June 1991 - November 1992) in Sudhakarrao Naik's government. Later he became minister of state for Soil Conservation, Power and Planning (November 1992 - February 1993) when Sharad Pawar returned to the state as chief minister. When the Indian National Congress-NCP coalition came into power in 1999, Pawar was promoted to cabinet minister, firstly in the Irrigation Department (October 1999 - December 2003) in Vilasrao Deshmukh's government. He was given additional charge of the Rural Development Department (December 2003 - October 2004) in Sushilkumar Shinde's government. When Congress-NCP combination returned to power in 2004 he retained the Water Resources Ministry in Deshmukh's government and later in Ashok Chavan's government. He also became the Guardian minister for Pune district in 2004 and held the post until the Congress - NCP coalition lost power in 2014.


‘I am confident they will work diligently’: PM Modi congratulates Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday congratulated BJP's Devendra Fadnavis and NCP's Ajit Pawar on taking oath as Maharashtra's Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively and exuded confidence that the new government will work for the state's bright future.

Taking to Twitter, Modi said, "Congratulations to @Dev_Fadnavis Ji and @AjitPawarSpeaks Ji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra." The oath was administered by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhawan to Fadnavis and Pawar.


Congratulations to @Dev_Fadnavis Ji and @AjitPawarSpeaks Ji on taking oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Maharashtra respectively. I am confident they will work diligently for the bright future of Maharashtra.


In a major development, Fadnavis earlier this morning took oath as the Chief Minister for the second consecutive term while Pawar took oath as Deputy Chief Minister of the state. The move came at a time when deliberations between Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena on government formation seemingly reached the final stage on Friday. Earlier, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had claimed that there was a consensus on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister of the alliance government.


The BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in last month's assembly elections, could not stake claim to form a government as its ally Shiv Sena remained firm on rotating the Chief Minister's post and equal sharing of Cabinet berths. Shiv Sena parted its ways with BJP to explore ways to form a government. It, however, failed to prove the support of the required number of MLAs in the time given by state Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

The Governor had then invited NCP, the third-largest party, to prove its ability to form the government failing which President's Rule was imposed in the state. The BJP won 105 seats in the 288-member assembly followed by Shiv Sena 56, NCP 54 and Congress 44.